In our early ministry years, I twisted an easy and light yoke into something cumbersome and weighty. I believed I had to excel at every single thing because my faulty logic dictated that everything depended on me. That was a lie. No one excels at everything, not any bible-time or modern-day person, not Moses, not Joshua, not you or me. There is great freedom in knowing that while we carry responsibility, it is ultimately not up to us.
In Exodus 17:8-13, Moses commands Joshua to lead Israel in the battle against the Amalek people. Joshua is an assistant to Moses and will eventually succeed him. Joshua is the soldier wielding the sword, but Moses promises to stand on the top of the hill with the staff of God in his hand. Moses and Joshua knew and respected their specific roles in God’s plan.
We engage in a battle every time we open the church doors or speak God’s truth to a friend, and we have different roles in planting the seeds of faith. Some of us plant, others water, but it is always God that gives the growth (1 Corinthians 3:6-9).
On the day of the battle, Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the hill. We don’t know why Moses invited the other men to accompany him; we only know he did. As Joshua and his men fought the Amalek army, Moses stood with the staff of God in his hand as promised. When he held up his hand, Israel prevailed. When he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. Then, Moses got tired.
Ministry is exhausting. E-X-H-A-U-S-T-I-N-G. It is spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically taxing. There were times I feared I couldn’t continue, not because I lacked desire for God or because of hardship, but because I was spent— entirely and utterly fatigued.
But Moses’ hand grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun” Ex 17:12.
Moses was not strong enough. Moses needed help. Likewise, we must resist pride and welcome friends into our struggles. Joshua could not win without Moses uplifting his hands. Moses could not uphold his arms or even stand upright without Aaron and Hur. Some plant, others water, but God gives the growth.
God may use us in many God-glorifying, Christ-exalting, Holy Spirit empowered ways, but the victory belongs to the Lord. It is not up to you. It’s not even about you just like this passage in Exodus is not really about Moses or Joshua. It’s about God, and God is building his church. God is bringing the victory.
“And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword,” Ex 17:13.
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